Some folks think brand is all about colors and fonts, logos and taglines, but that’s only a fraction of what constitutes a brand in the eyes and hearts of customers. Customers define brand through experience and experience is overwhelmingly influenced through interactions.
People might forget whether your logo font is serif or sans and they might forget if yours is the app icon with the little thing that looks like a cloud.., but they will never forget a struggle with signing in or the dead end they reached when trying to research your product specifications or that time they tried to resolve an issue through online customer support and were bounced around through various channels—online and off. People may like or dislike a color choice or an icon design but those feelings will likely fade over time. A failed interaction can leave a bad taste in their mouth for a long, long time.
Great customer interactions drive brand differentiation. This means that by providing great customer experience you will drive revenue. And, nowhere is this more critical than in the B2B space where customers are only choosing from a small field of candidates. That means each and every interaction amplifies their impression of the overall brand experience.
So, build a better brand by providing superior customer experience:
- Create seamless interactions: People hate friction, whether it be in real life or online. Smooth transactions are successful ones. Make sure you identify and optimize every customer touch point so that users don’t get lost or frustrated as they try to accomplish what they’re trying to do. That means testing early and testing often, until you think you’ve got it right. Then test again.
- Put user needs first: Customer needs must come first. Your company goals can only be accomplished if your products succeed, so make sure you’ve put the user at the center of the ecosystem. Commit to transforming your company into a customer-centric organization in both words and actions.
- Focus on the medium as much as the message. Give experience its due. Companies are quick to shovel piles of money into brand and marketing initiatives but the payoff would be greater if they funneled even just a healthy fraction of those efforts into experience, maximizing the user experience at every point on every platform.
- Make the boundary between offline and online seem invisible. Customers don’t think about channels. They think about their interactions with an organization as the sum of its parts. Good customer experience is an omnichannel experience. This means the organization must map the entirety of the customer journey and optimize for the unpredictable pogo-sticking of today’s mult-device, multi-channel customers.
- Lead from Above: To win at CX an organization must believe in the power of experience. The same leaders who have deep feelings about logos and taglines must also have an equally deep commitment to customer journeys and UX optimization.